Heartburn(Gastritis) – Know your health 4

Heartburn is a symptom which is difficult to ignore. After a nice heavy meal when you are relaxing on the chair you tend to feel burning sesation in the chest.

Heartburn is a common symptom and is generally nothing to worry about. However some people exprience regular heartburn which is a serious problem and needs medications. Recurrent heartburn is a symptom of GERD( Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease)- a conditon where stomach acid or some times the bile flows back into the oesophagus

Most people manage heartburn by life style changes or by taking drugs sold over the counter, where in severe heartburns they give only temporary or partial relief

Some factors which may worsen the heartburn are

Certain foods, such as fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, onions, tomato sauce, carbonated beverages and mint
Alcohol
Large meals
Lying down too soon after eating
Certain medications, including sedatives, antidepressants and calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure
Cigarette smoking

When to seek medical advice

Heartburn several times a week
Heartburn that returns soon after your antacid wears off
Heartburn that wakes you up at night

Treatment

Antacids
H2 receptor blockers
Proton pump inhibitors

Self Care

Control your weight
Eat smaller meals
Loosen your belt
Eliminate heartburn triggers – such as fatty or fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onion, tomatoes, caffeine and nicotine
Avoid stooping or bending
Do not lie down soon after a meal
Raise the head of your bed
Do not smoke